Civil Rights Movement in America

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					                Civil Rights Movement in America
                        Background Notes

 Jim Crow Laws
     o Began after the Civil War when slaves were freed
     o Stated that blacks can’t vote
     o Provided for the separation of the races in trains, eating places,
       schools, and churches
 Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896)
     o Homer Plessy – 1/8 black, looked white
     o Sits in white section of railroad car, then tells conductor he’s
        part black.
     o Plessy is kicked off white railroad car because he has black
        blood in him.
     o Plessy sues railroad, case goes all the way to the Supreme Court
     o Plessy loses – court maintains that Jim Crow laws of separate
        but equal are fine.
     o Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan said that it was a
        sad day in American history.
 Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (1954)
     o Linda Brown’s family sued so that she could attend her
       neighborhood school which was all white.
     o Thurgood Marshall argued the case before the Supreme Court
       and won




     o Supreme Court rules that separate but equal facilities for
       different races is illegal and unconstitutional.
     o Schools are ordered to desegregate
 Vocabulary

     1. segregation: separation of races
            de jure segregation: segregation by law like in the
              South
            segregation de facto: segregation that occurs in fact and
              not by law. This was common in the North.

     2. integration: the process of bringing races together; also known
        as desegregation

     3. unconstitutional: doesn’t follow our constitution and,
        therefore, violates humans’ civil rights

     4. civil disobedience: a peaceful way to protest an unjust law.
            Sit-ins
            Boycotts
            Marches